A few science jobs

A few positions in astronomy and space science are opening as the academic year prepares to yawn into action.

Starting with PhD places, and two places, one in Stockholm and one in Southampton, are being advertised in the area of high latitude aurora and radar studies. The two positions are to be closely linked and the students based at each of the institutions should expect to travel to visit the other one at some point. The project will involve studying the structure of aurora using novel imaging techniques, spectra and radar studies. Contact Betty Lanchester at Southampton or Nickolay Ivchenko at the School of Electrical Engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm for details and to apply.

Over at SarahAskew, she attempts in this post to entice PhD qualified researchers to consider the area she’s worked in for the past three years. Sandra Chapman of Warwick University is advertising for a PDRA to help create mathematical models of turbulence in the solar system plasmas, such as the solar wind. Further details here. Martin Fullekrug of Bath University offers a postdoctoral position studying the impact of lightning discharges on the atmosphere. Further details on the job, which will involve spending the summer in remote parts of Southern France taking electromagnetic data, can be found here and the application system is here. ESA wants applications for its 2011 postdoctoral fellowships, which will last for a year and will take place in the field of space science. Further details on this scheme are here.

The American Association of Variable Star Observers is looking for a web developer for its newly relaunched website. Further information on this position is here.

Of course, with all the citizen science projects around, you don’t need to be a specific researcher to contribute to science, as users of the Einstein@Home project have found. A new puslar has been discovered, sitting alone in space. Measurements of its magnetic field suggest the pulsar was either born with a low power magnetic field or it had a companion star, like most pulsars, but lost it. Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars, believed to be spun up by the deposition of matter through an accretion disc onto its surface. The transfer of angular momentum from the disc to the pulsar leaves it spinning very rapidly. The new object spins at a rate of 41 times a second. Einstein@Home users donate their PC downtime to crunching astronomical data. They search for the signatures of gravitational waves in archived LIGO data and for pulsars in archived Arecibo data. The press release is here.

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